The Homestead Senior High School football team had a very successful
season and made it to the state 3M championship game. But the Broncos lost to St. Thomas Aquinas 38 - 21 in a game played at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Homestead Coach Philip Simpson was disappointed with the loss but understood the Broncos were competing against a strong football program.
“It was a tough game, and we were 7-7 at halftime. We had a bad punt in the third quarter,” said Simpson. “The game went back and forth, and we competed with St. Thomas.”
In the first half, Homestead Quarterback Joshua Townsend had a 48-yard pass play to Richard Dandridge. Then Townsend completed a 9-yard pass play to Dandridge for a touchdown.
In the third quarter, Townsend completed a 19-yard pass play to Javon Robinson for a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Townsend completed a five-yard pass play with Robinson for a touchdown. Robinson then ran in a two-point conversion.
Homestead finished the season with a 12-3 record. This was the first time that a Broncos team made it to the state championship. One of the team’s losses this season was to Miami Columbus High School which won the 4M state championship with a 16-13 victory over Apopka.
Life will go on for Homestead football. Most of the team’s top players are returning and they have experience and athletic talent.
Dandridge will play on the Temple University football team next year. Other players on the team have attracted interest from college teams.
Coach Simpson is moving on. He has accepted a position on the coaching staff for the University of Nebraska football team.
No competitive football coach or player is ever satisfied with a loss, but Homestead was up against some tough competition and the Broncos hung in the entire game.
Not many teams have done so. St. Thomas has a 14-0 record and won its fourth consecutive state championship and is ranked by MaxPreps as the seventh best team in the nation. Over many years, the Raiders have established a powerhouse football program that has attracted national attention. Many Raider’s alumni have gone on to play for top division one college and NFL teams.
Homestead Senior High School football Coach Philip Simpson has now joined the University of Nebraska football team as an assistant defensive line coach and recruiter.
Coach Ronnie Thornton who led the Homestead defense is now the Homestead head coach.
“When I arrived at Nebraska I went straight to work,” he said.
Simpson has some experience as a defensive player. He played two seasons as a defensive lineman at Temple University and was credited with 32 tackles and two sacks.
Simpson is optimistic about the Broncos and believes they will be a strong team next year. “The team has to stay intact. The coaching staff has been doing a great job. The team has a lot of younger players. They are good guys and good players. They will do well next year.”
Simpson said he will miss the Homestead football team and the players, but he is also excited about coaching at a big time football program. As a recruiter he may bring some of the Broncos players to Nebraska in the next few years. He knows Florida football and especially Miami-Dade football. And the area is loaded with athletic talent. He also knows what players like Joshua Townsend can do on the football field.